August 11, 2011

Chicago Transit taps IMG for sponsorship, naming rights

The Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) approved a contract authorizing IMG International to research the viability of corporate sponsorships and naming rights to various agency properties and assets.

IMG will conduct a three-part process that will determine how the CTA can best position itself to entertain offers from private companies. The first step is to identify which CTA assets are marketable. The next step is for IMG to evaluate the market value of the properties. IMG then will develop Requests for Proposals to solicit sponsorships.

Already, the CTA has identified its Bus Tracker and Train Tracker technology, Penny Rides and the Holiday Train traditions as potential assets that can attract sponsors. IMG will also identify corporate sponsorship opportunities for physical and intangible assets such as the website, information materials, recycle bins, winter heating lamps, benches, and bus routes and rail stations — excluding those not owned by CTA.

It is estimated that it will take IMG six months to one year to identify, evaluate and solicit sponsorship proposals for CTA's assets.

According to the agreement, CTA will not pay IMG to conduct their market research. If sponsorships are secured and approved by the Chicago Transit Board, IMG will be compensated strictly by commission, and on a graduated percentage scale, depending on the value of the sponsorship transaction.

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